Let’s talk about … Aspects to consider before you contract your the right catering provider.
Now that you have found your wedding venue, next element on your list, is to make sure you get a capable catering company to cover all the food and drink needs of your wedding day.
Where do you begin? A good start is to congratulate yourself for having the freedom to choose. Often venues come with their own in-house catering and you have no choice but to accept them, if you want the venue. Just like marrying your lovely partner but having to put up with the annoying in-laws.
If you are in this situation, there is really little you can do at this stage. You are stuck with them for good and for bad. Finger crossed is good.
Remember that if you have not laid down the deposit on the venue yet, you can still taste the food before you do so. Ask for a menu tasting appointment and decide afterwards. Many contractors allow this as it is totally understandable. You are not only choosing a place where to marry but also the food and drinks of your wedding. Just bear in mind you may be charged for the tasting.
You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, would you? If after the menu tasting you are not convinced just inform them and walk away. Feedback is what make this industry better each year.
So, let’s go back to having the choice, now that you feel lucky, let me help you a little bit with your choice.
These are some aspects that perhaps you did not think about them.
Local is better.
Check catering companies nearby your venue. A 50 km radius is a good starting point. Often catering companies charge you a fee for transportation, so if you have a decent choice of caterers locally why paying extra. Only choose a distant caterer when you are ready to face this extra cost or the quality made the whole thing worthwhile.
Most catering companies usually charge through a menu price. They charge from 50 to 150 or above per person. So, a wedding of 100 people at 100 euros menu per person costs 10k. Simple. But what does the menu price include? Is the open bar included? How many hours and what drinks? Does it include chairs and tables? Which type? After dinner snacks?…
Venue Fee for caterings.
This one is one of those costs that annoys people the most. You have your beautiful venue and have managed to find a catering to match your needs, and then this happens. Your venue charges a fee to your catering company for working during your wedding day. Really? Yes! But that is only part of the story. Your catering may not accept that charge and will force you to pay for it. So be alert, you could be looking at anything from 400 euros to 600 euros.
Contracted Service Hours.
Catering companies usually work for hours. From beginning to end, they have a specific number of hours allocate to your wedding. Staring on your cocktail and finishing with your open bar. Pass that limit and you could incur in extra charge for over time services. So, make sure, you know your time allocation before your wedding day and if you are going to need more hours of service negotiate them in advance to avoid surprises.
This is an important meeting in order to define the role of the catering company during your wedding. Check menus in advance and inform them what you would like to try, food and drink wise. Examine all the options, table clothes, chairs, cutlery, glasses… Remember to stay focus and ask all the questions. You don’t want to drink too much wine and then miss on this opportunity to nail everything down.
The truth is that booking the right catering company is often not an easy decision. Most clients don’t have the time or budget to be tasting menus from different companies, so they usually go with the 1st choice they try. They make their choice based on popularity which is not a consistent factor. Usually caterings which offer a great product, drop in quality after becoming popular. So, what is good one day, next year is appalling. In addition, the menu tasting is designed specially to hide any flaws on the service and by the time you realise there is an issue is too late on the process to fix it.
We at The Boutique Wedding Co. carry out extensive research on catering companies and assist our clients all the way through the process to make sure every aspect is under control. We attend menu tastings to help each couple to make the right choices, and only work with the best people in the industry.